The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt


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Neo-Schmittians suggest that his international thought provides a new reading of the history of international law and order, which validates the explanatory power of his theoretical premises — the concept of the political, political decisionism, and concrete-order-thinking. View PDF. Save to Library. Create Alert.

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Share This Paper. Citations Publications citing this paper. The peculiarity of Brazilian state-formation in geopolitical context: the challenge of Eurocentrism in international relations and political Marxism Dutra Salgado , Pedro Payo De Lucas. Existence and political order : Carl Schmitt's concept of enmity Emil Archambault. Russia and Carl Schmitt : the hybridity of resistance in the globalised world Carl Schmitt.

Constitutional Theory

What does regional studies study? From sub-national to supra-national regional spaces or Grossraum of sovereign governance Allwell Raphael Uwazuruike , Michael Salter. The Cartographic Reasoning in the Arctic. It requires a strong sovereign who would represent a unified will of the people and remove internal opposition.

Sovereign democracy implies that the state alone can set the criteria of democracy for itself, protecting its unique statehood against the intrusion by the world police power. According to this theory, the aggregation of internal consensus and stability are necessary for the state to be able to defend itself in the case of external threats. Thus, the Russian political system places state sovereignty above the rule of law.

Since no juridico-political order can exist without an enforcing authority, the president is given an unquestionable authority. This conviction guides most of the decisions of the main party, United Russia, as much as the overriding majority of other parties Ibid. Electoral fraud and manipulated media work hard to eliminate any chances of political opposition.

After all, following Schmitt, the Russian government considers its opponents to be by definition outside the state law Grigorov, For Russia, the transition to democracy and adaptation to the liberal rules of international conduct became negatively associated with losing state sovereignty Fischer, Therefore, Russia perceived the overthrow of the government in Kyiv as a state of exception that, by extension, threatened its sovereignty. The state of exception can be characterized by a breakdown of order; an unpredictable and uncontrollable situation when norms, legal rules and ethics lose their validity McLoughlin, The sovereign decision cannot be foreseen by the constitution.

In fact, it must be constitutionally exceptional Grigorov, : In addition, the actions of the new Ukrainian government, such as the repeal of the law that made Russian the second official language, endangered the historical and cultural interconnectedness of two peoples. Consequently, the Russian state chose to restore the order by positioning itself superior to law and interfering in the crisis. In the West, most of the criticism of the Russian state has come from a rather top-down perspective of liberal governance.

Nonetheless, the question arises: why would the state even think of confronting a significant part of itself and, in doing so, weakening its legitimacy before the people? The question is especially striking in international relations, where sovereignty is vital for state survival in the wake of the globalization of the political.

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Examining the arguments for the incontestable powers of the state, the first question that comes to mind is to what extent the public good depends on state sovereignty. Indeed, from the liberal pluralist perspective, the individual necessarily needs to be freed from the state. From this perspective, it is not logical for Russian citizens to be proud of the state aggrandizing power because it potentially amounts to the state exerting more coercion.

Nonetheless, the perspective of the state helps understand the concept of liberty not as an exclusive domain of the individual, but as something that can be attributed to the political community as a whole.

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Here, the state appears as the embodiment of the overarching unity of differences within civil society Rasch, This unity constitutes its unique way of life, which the state has to defend on the international level. But does state sovereignty still matter in the liberal world where the individual difference is being ever-increasingly accentuated and cherished?

The reason for this is that liberal governance fosters global uniformity and hierarchy of values, while shielding behind the preservation of difference on the molecular level. More precisely, Schmitt objects to the attempts to establish a global consensus over the universality of liberal values. In his concise piece entitled The Tyranny of Values [] b , Schmitt develops a political critique of values, linking it to his earlier remarks on global governance.

Its main point is that value has a natural tendency to continuously valuate, and that this valuation is not possible without simultaneously de-valuating. Wendt : insists that liberal governance does not foster uniformity because the limitless tolerance and neutrality of viewpoints allow the state to preserve its individuality. In this case, the notion of humanity as a community of universal values—namely tolerance, neutrality, the rule of law, human rights and free market—is detrimental because it supersedes the value systems of individual states.

What is the Eastern Partnership? Is it a sphere of influence, we would like to understand? In so doing, liberal governance stands by its claim to foster political plurality only insofar as plurality takes place within the already predefined umbrella of difference. As show above, there is a strong correlation between the sovereignty of the state and the preservation of its way of life.

The End of Law

Moreover, the two are closely intertwined when it comes to the final justification of state dissidence—the recovery of pluralism within the global order of autonomous states. Herein, Schmitt envisages the international order to be a pluriverse rather than a universe, representing a plurality of interests on the global scale. International politics is essentially a space of difference, which are often irreconcilable. Thus, the possibility of conflict between states cannot be completely eradicated. However, as political struggle sustains the meaningfulness of life, there is nothing wrong with sovereign states asserting their power and vitality against one another Schmitt.

Consequently, the modern international order is not the result of the democratic will of the people, but of a club-like conglomerate of liberal states. Thus, Russia depicts itself to be a courageous bastion against the imperialist tendencies of Western liberalism, especially its humanitarian militarism, political unilateralism and undermining of state sovereignty.

The Russian case shows that resistance is concomitant to the de-politicization and neutralization of the international order, calling for an even stronger suppression of difference. Schmitt [] continues his analysis in Theory of the Partisan , stating that the opponents of the global hegemony of liberalism become seen as inhuman, a non-value. War is no longer a legitimate act of state sovereignty to openly promote its interests, but a crime against humanity. Its strength and unity are condemned; its weakness is praised.

It necessarily needs to be turned into a liberal democracy and embrace the technocratic governance in the name of an external legitimizing authority. If, despite the recommendations of global police, its resistance continues, it will no longer be a form of dissent, but a criminal act. The more total global policing becomes, the higher is the chance for the most extreme violence against the opponents of the post-political international order.

All states are bearers of different ways of life, which cannot be reconciled simply by uniting them in a unipolar world order. According to Schmitt Ibid. Globalization is likely to cause resistance to arise with a new, unprecedented force. However, the radical unity of the world now means that conflict can no longer be contained behind the state borders.

In short, there is a danger of state dissidence transforming into radical resistance against liberal governance.


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Still, there is a clear mismatch between the predictions of radical resistance and the resistance of Russia. Although Russia is not merely an expansionist state, the desire to expand its sphere of influence still is a major motivation for its dissidence. The two-dimensional nature of its dissidence suggests that Russia is only a half-dissident.

On the one hand, it fights against the intrusion of hegemonic liberal governance into the domestic life of states. Indeed, Russia intends not only to free itself from the influence of liberal governance, but also to neutralize its hegemony.

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To achieve it, its dissidence is structured in such a way as to exploit the fundamental weaknesses of global liberal governance. Thus, examining the specific strategy of state dissidence can help discover the loopholes in the international order. In a similar fashion, Russia distorts the fact of its involvement in the separatist insurgency in Eastern Ukraine. However, there is strong evidence that Moscow provides the separatists with military, logistical and diplomatic support Snetkov and Lanteigne, ; Lanozska, Nonetheless, Russia never recognized the referendums in Eastern Ukraine.

The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt
The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt
The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt
The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt
The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt
The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt
The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt
The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt

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